US Trade Deal With China 'Moving Along Nicely'

24 May, 2018, 03:49 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Analysts Weigh In On US-China Trade Developments

The bill passed the panel 25-0 and now advances to the full Senate for a vote.

President Trump has already suggested that there is a deal to be done, but it could still be punishing for ZTE.

"What's different is the way it's all been done in public, on Twitter", she said.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for more details about the president's statement.

"When I looked at it I said, you know, they could pay a big price without necessarily damaging all of these American companies, which they are because you know you're talking about tremendous amounts of money and jobs", he said.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he thought China had gotten the upper hand in recent negotiations on trade and North Korea denuclearization.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied that his government is offering relief for ZTE in exchange for trade concessions.

Shenzhen, China-based ZTE depends on USA components, such as chips from Qualcomm Inc, to build its smartphones and networking gear.

The ban has threatened the viability of ZTE by cutting off access to companies that supply 25 percent to 30 percent of its components.

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On May 8, FT's Martin Wolf described America's "draft framework" guiding U.S-China trade talks earlier that week as "an ultimatum" from the Trump "administration (that) is either so foolish that it does not understand (trade) or (is) so arrogant that it does not care". But Trump said on Tuesday that he had agreed to re-examine the matter as a personal favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Any changes to this will fully support the mandate of making sure our sanctions and our technology are protected".

The deal would un-do the the seven-year ban on USA companies trading with ZTE, implemented in April after the company violated the terms of an earlier settlement for busting United Nations sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week the administration is exploring "additional remedies" to its harsh punishment of the Chinese smartphone maker.

The latest word is that Trump wants a complete management overhaul at ZTE and a $1.3bn "fine" paid to lift the restrictions which prevent the company from buying parts made by American companies.

He declined to comment on what alternative remedies Commerce may be considering.

"The objective was not to put ZTE out of business", Mnuchin said.

The US initially fined ZTE $1.19 million in March 2017 for violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea. But it then went a step further to impose a seven-year ban on United States companies buying and selling ZTE products.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Senator Charles Schumer.

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